Marketing 100 years ago

This year is a big celebration year for Finland, because independent Finland turns 100 years. A lot of improvement and good things has happened in one hundred years. We started to wonder what was marketing like 100 years ago, compared to what it is now. As Finland - marketing has definitely changed a lot during hundred years.


In a way marketing has excisted longer than 100 years. Different kind of marketing operations has been done for thousands of years, but the actual theory of marketing started to evolve about hundred years ago. Marketing in it’s actual meaning was born when the industrial mass production started. In 1960’s McCarthy created the 4P-model, which is almost like the cornerstone of marketing. 4P-model (product, price, place, promotion) is been adapted in marketing these day also.

Marketing has a colorful history: Trends and fads have changed one after another. Earlier marketing was seen only as advertising. Marketing has tried print and digital media and many other things. Earlier, when there wasn’t that much selection in products or competition between companies, marketing was done in a very primitive way. During this time customer bought a product, because he needed it. And a company manufactured the product knowing that it will sell, because there was a demand for it. Entrepreneurs didn’t have to think about marketing their products. During this era of mass production, the first catalogue was released.

When the competition and demand started to increase, the importanse of sales and marketing started to be clear. As a result to this, advertising was born. It was mostly seen in magazines and news papers, and also on the streets and radio. Marketing operations started to show as positive results in sales. Still marketing was only seen as advertising. Here is a few adverts from earlier decades.


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The adverts from decades ago are very different than today, some find them funny and some maybe even disrespectful. Anyways you can see the first steps towards modern marketing by looking at old adverts. Most likely in hundread years from now, the adverts that are being published in 2017 will seem outdated.

For a long time marketing and sales have been seen as a completely different functions and the understanding of collaboration between sales and marketing is still building up. During the last ten years marketing has been through a huge change because of digitalisation. And the pace of the development is just getting faster all the time, you need to be on your toes all the time. The buying process of the customer has changed a lot and new ways of doing marketing is being created constantly.

Staying on top of the development isn’t always easy. From marketing it requiers opennes, planning and collaboration with other functions. Even though marketing has been through different faces during time, the basic idea of it, is still the same: Marketing is supposed to help you to get your target group to know your company. This alone isn’t enough anymore though, because of digitalisation the results of marketing can also be measured for example in a number of leads. Marketing and sales need to work together in able to get to the best results as possible.


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